The Novel ' Perpetual Fear '

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Perpetual Fear

The experience of Luo and the narrator in the Balzac novel are vastly different than real prison camps during the Cultural Revolution. In the novel, the leaders are ignorant and the boys easily outsmart them. In real prison camps, the leaders were violent and very strict. The boys also used literature as an escape from their lives, but the books they read were banned and would get people in reeducation killed. Lastly, the boys were able to roam around and had the ability to go wherever they wanted. In reeducation, they were given very little freedom and had a curfew. The experience of the characters in the novel is bearable because the leaders were incompetent and there was no real consequences for their actions. In reeducation, the leaders were violent and everyone was in constant fear.
The leaders in the Balzac novel are oppressive, but they are not accurately portrayed in the book. In real life, the leaders instilled fear into the people sent to reeducation. In the novel, Luo and the narrator are able to avoid having to do their work. They are sneaky and they learn how to get away with things to make their experience bearable. For instance, Luo and the narrator have a clock that everyone in the town follows. One morning, the Headman is ready to take them to work, but they find a way out of it. “Luo had a brainstorm: with his little finger he slid the hands of the clock back by one hour.” (Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress) The headman had started
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